Jobless total in Catalonia went up 1,532 last month to 395,214
First time since 2014 that February has not seen fall in unemployment, with government blaming coronavirus and MWC cancellation
The number of jobless people in Catalonia rose by 1,532 in February to a total of 395,214, according to figures released by the state labor ministry on Tuesday.
February's figures continue the trend seen in January, when there were an extra 5,558 people out of work, while in February last year there were 1,428 fewer jobseekers.
In fact, it is the first February since 2014 in which unemployment has not fallen. In that month there were 4,285 more jobseekers, although the total was much higher at 629,586.
As for Spain as a whole, the number of unemployed people fell by 7,806, some 0.24% fewer than the previous month, to a total of 3,246,047 people out of work.
The Catalan government reacted to the figures blaming the measures taken to fight coronavirus.
"The preventive measures in order to avoid contagions and the global-scale crisis resulting from the coronavirus outbreak ends up having an impact on the job market's dynamism, especially in Barcelona, with the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress," said the government's work secretary, Josep Ginesta.
The wireless industry fair was canceled after several companies withdrew for fears of coronavirus contagions.
Barcelona registers largest increase
Of Catalonia's four main regions, unemployment fell slightly in all of them, apart from Barcelona, where there were 2,426 extra people out of work, a 0.85% rise over January.
By gender, of Catalonia's 395,214 unemployed people, 171,979 were men and 223,235 were women, of which 29,277 were under 25 (15,650 men and 13,627 women).
Most of the new jobseekers in February were in the service sector (1,512), although the number of people who have never had a job went up by 818 people to 24,723.
In all, there were 237,368 job contracts signed in January, some 6.29% fewer than the previous month, with 37,365 of them permanent and 200,003 temporary.